Operation Unicorn: A protocol outlining what would happen if the Queen dies in Scotland

Operation Unicorn: A protocol outlining what would happen if the Queen dies in Scotland

Image of Balmoral castle in Scotland. Credit: Google maps - John McKenzie

A protocol called Operation Unicorn exists which will be executed should Her Majesty the Queen die in Scotland.

Operation Unicorn is a plan that outlines what would happen if the Queen dies in Scotland. Details about this protocol were first reported to the public in 2019, although the first-ever mention of the codename was originally made in 2017 in the Scottish Parliament’s online papers.

Once the monarch’s death was made public, Holyrood PalaceSt Giles’ Cathedral, and the Scottish Parliament will serve as the focal point of gatherings. A condolence book will be set up at the latter location and made open to the public.

All Parliamentary business will immediately be suspended for at least six parliamentary days. This is to allow the authorities to prepare for the funeral. A motion of condolence will then be prepared by parliament within 72 hours of reconvening.

The Queen’s coffin will first lie in repose at Holyrood Palace, followed by a service of reception at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Following this, her coffin would be transported to Waverley station in Edinburgh to be taken by the Royal Train to London if possible. 

Otherwise, the coffin would be taken by plane to London and welcomed by the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com